Good Managed Care Needs Universal Health Insurance

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Although the increase of corporate managed care has helped to reduce excesses and costs, continued gains in cost-effectiveness depend on good clinically managed care. Benefits of clinically managed care depend on stable contracts and universal coverage. Instead, employers are decreasing coverage and creating a market of "lemons" in which low-cost plans are rewarded for cost-cutting tactics. These tactics have spawned movements that demand rights for patients and providers. Choosing to shore up those rights, however, will increase the number of uninsured persons. This tragic choice, which no other industrialized nation has permitted, will not be resolved until some form of universal health insurance is implemented.

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Ann Intern Med.1999;130:686-689.

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